ECP yet to act against Aleem Khan for submitting fake affidavitsPakistan
ISLAMABAD: Around six weeks after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) declared that Aleem Khan of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) had submitted fake affidavits to support his allegations about transfer of thousands of votes from NA-122 (Lahore) without the consent of the voters ahead of the by-election in the constituency, the commission is yet to act against Mr Khan.
In its judgement rejecting a petition filed by Mr Khan challenging re-election of the PML-N’s Sardar Ayaz Sadiq from the constituency, the ECP had said it reserved the right to act against the PTI leader for using unfair means to prove his allegations and misg-uiding the commission. But the ECP has so far not taken any action against him.
ECP Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Mohammad said the commission had not given any deadline for action in its verdict. A petition filed by Mr Sadiq andseeking an action against Mr Khan has been received by the commission’s secretariat. The file has been placed before the ECP for a decision.
In his personal view, he said, submitting fake documents was a criminal offence under the Pakistan Penal Code and also came in the ambit of corrupt practices under the Representation of Peoples’ Act.
Aleem Khan had filed an 800-page petition in the ECP, saying that before the by-election held on Oct 11 last year, some 30,500 votes had been transferred from the constituency or cancelled, raising doubts about transparency of the election results. Affidavits of a number of voters had been annexed with the petition, all of which were found to be false.
Ayaz Sadiq had been declared successful in the 2013 general elections from NA-122 but his victory had been challenged by PTI Chairman Imran Khan who had lost to him from the constituency.
An election tribunal admitted Mr Khan’s plea and ordered re-polling in the constituency. In the by-election, the PTI nominated Aleem Khan as its candidate against Ayaz Sadiq. Mr Kut up a strong fight but ultimately lost to Mr Sadiq.
Then Mr Khan filed a petition in the tribunal alleging that Mr Sadiq had rigged the polls. However his petition was rejected by the tribunal.
Subsequently Mr Sadiq filed a petition on the grounds that Aleem Khan had submitted fake affidavits to support his claim.
NA-122 Lahore is one of the four constituencies where Imran Khan had demanded a vote audit after the general elections.
An official of the ECP said that Ayaz Sadiq had attached documentary evidence with his petition. If the allegation of false and fake affidavits was proved, he added, Aleem Khan could go to jail for three years and the punishment would also entail disqualification.
Published in Dawn, March 17th, 2016